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Removing Unpainted Popcorn Ceiling

This weekend we successfully removed a small section of popcorn ceiling! We are slowly re-doing all the closets in our home. Right now we’re working on a closet that we use mostly for storing camping gear and related. This particular closet happens to have a popcorn ceiling. We have re-done the ceiling in the room this closet is in, making it smooth by installing drywall over the popcorn texture.

“Eww…Gross, Popcorn Ceiling”

When I show houses that have popcorn ceilings, the majority of reactions to this old school finish are that its terrible. Surprisingly, most people further go on to count that as a major negative that they do not want to deal with. Many will outright full-on lose interest in the home (despite whatever else the house has to offer). It’s a big deal.

This always surprises me because in actuality, popcorn ceiling is not that difficult to deal with. Its not very complicated but somehow it really scares a lot of people off.

It Can Be Dealt With!

In our experience the determining factor in how you can deal with the “horrible” popcorn ceiling is whether or not it has been re-painted. If the ceiling is in its original condition, it should be fairly easy to scrape off.  Unfortunately, if the ceiling has had a layer (or two) of paint added over it, it is difficult to remove and you will need to cover it by installing drywall across the ceiling. Depending on other factors like the overall ceiling height and shape of the room, this may or may not be an option.

Fortunately for us, the ceiling in this closet has not been untouched. We were able to successfully scrape it off.  Read on to learn how we did it.

How to Remove Unpainted Popcorn Ceiling

Materials Needed: Step ladder, spray bottle filled with water, plastic sheeting or drop cloth, ceiling scraper (easily found in Home Depot or Lowe’s), trash bags

  1. Prep the area – You’ll want to make sure you can easily clean up and remove the scraped off debris. Remove whatever furniture or objects are in the space. Cover your flooring with plastic sheeting, a drop off or anything similar. Plastic is recommended since the debris will be wet and crumbly, you’ll want to be able to just throw it out.
  2. Spray – Using the spray bottle, spray water onto the popcorn texture. It’s best to work in sections so that you do not have a dripping wet mess of debris allover. Let it sit for a couple minutes to so that the water is absorbed into the material.
  3. Scrape – The scraper we used allows you to attach a trash bag to catch the debris. Making cleanup super easy. With the tool, scrape away! Soon you will have a smooth, popcorn-free ceiling!

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